States were required by the Highway Safety Act of 1966 to develop a Highway Safety Plan, which was intended to be a systematic approach to highway safety problem resolution. This article traces the history of Safety Management Systems (SMSs) from this beginning to today's mandate in the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) for the establishment of SMSs in states and local jurisdictions. It answers the question of "Why Now?", discusses the purpose of an SMS, outlines the five major areas to be included in state SMSs, and cites the safety management practices in Virginia, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania as successful examples leading to the implementation of SMSs. The article concludes that the SMS, if employed correctly, will provide an opportunity for the U.S. Department of Transportation, in partnership with state and local highway agencies, to optimize resources in meeting national and state safety goals.


  • English

Media Info

  • Features: Figures;
  • Pagination: p. 22-25
  • Serial:
    • TR News
    • Issue Number: 173
    • Publisher: Transportation Research Board
    • ISSN: 0738-6826
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00667583
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, TRB
  • Created Date: Oct 4 1994 12:00AM